In the new, revised textbooks of political science for class 12 students, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has reportedly dropped the word 'anti-Muslim' while describing the 2002 riots that took place in Gujarat.
It has also dropped "against Muslims" from a sentence in a passage that describes the communal violence that broke out in the state, reported the Hindustan Times.
The passage that earlier read: “In February-March 2002, large-scale violence against Muslims took place in Gujarat”; in the updated books, it now reads: “In February-March 2002, large-scale violence took place in Gujarat”. The change has been made in a Class 12 textbook published in 2007 when the Congress-led UPA was in power, added the report.
The NCERT officials told the paper that the above changes were made as the word anti-Muslim doesn't exist in the approved syllabus, which is used for preparing the textbooks. Hence a proposal was made in June 2017, to make the required changes.
"The syllabus clearly uses the word Gujarat riots. However, the textbook had included the word "Anti-Muslim'. When we started the work on updating the books we were informed about it and we have reverted to "Gujarat riots," senior NCERT official, who chose to remain anonymous told Hindustan Times.
According to Indian Express, the changes are part of the textbook review — the first since 2007 — undertaken last year by the NCERT, an autonomous organisation that advises the HRD Ministry on school education. These changes were first suggested by the Central Board of Secondary Education in June last year, when R K Chaturvedi was its chairman.
The government record states that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, 223 were reported missing and 2,500 injured in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The changes in the revised textbooks comes few weeks after the Maharashtra state education board dropped the chapters that glorified Muslim rulers. Instead Rajput king Maharana Pratap was introduced and more information on Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji was added.
According to a report in Indian Express, the previous version of the textbook was criticised by Shiv Sena and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), which is based in Maharashtra, for “glorifying Mughal emperors” and “ignoring Hindu kings”.
The revised syllabus of NCERT book has also included Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Digital India campaigns as well as demonetisation — all associated with the BJP-led NDA government.
Last year, the Maharashtra education board had reduced the Mughal emperor’s reign to just three lines in school textbooks.
The revised Maharashtra board textbook has Shivaji as the focal point of medieval Indian history. His role, and those of his family and the Maratha generals have been expanded. The revised book has elaborated chapters on the 27-year-old struggle of the Marathas against Aurangzeb.